Café on Broadway, the oldest café in Siloam Springs and a staple business in the downtown area, will undergo renovations to modernize the space and increase clientele.
Café on Broadway has been serving the Siloam Springs community since 2006. In the past year, Café on Broadway has encountered healthy competition with other coffee shops such as Pour Jon’s and John Brown University’s own, Ground Floor Coffee.
Patty Arnett and Melissa Gute are under contract to buy the café from the current owners. They plan to take over on Jan. 31.
Arnett and Gute plan to renovate the café and close off the “Books on Broadway” section. The café will be open for a few weeks under the new owners, but will eventually close for a brief period of time to accommodate renovations.
“We have plans to increase the seating in the main room and turn the small room on the north side of the building into the ‘Bakery on Broadway,’” Arnett said.
Employees are nervous about the changes, but are excited to see what the new owners will bring. Grace Bengtson, an employee of the café, hopes that the new changes will help the business grow.
“It’s been kind of a struggle figuring out how things are going to work, but we are excited about the changes. It’s a great place and I love it for the personality that it has. All the workers are super cool and down to earth. I feel like this is a place where everyone can go and not feel judged. You can just get some coffee and chill,” Bengtson said.
Competing small businesses have also had their fair share of changes, including Pour Jon’s, which relocated in 2017. Jonathan Leonard, a Pour Jon’s employee, believes that the new owners’ changes will benefit the business and the community.
Leonard said, “Any change in ownership is going to result in a gain and a loss. The hope for them is that it’s going to balance out—I think the building has a lot of potential and they serve good coffee. Sometimes their baristas come into our place and sometimes we go over there. It is fun to have competition because it forces us to be better and to serve better product. With Pour Jon’s move, we lost some, but we gained even more.”